40billion.com Launches New Features to Help Small Businesses Find Funding

Innovative Tools Help Small Businesses Access Loans and Resources by Networking Online

ATLANTA, GeorgiaJuly 28, 2009 – 40billion.com (http://www.40billion.com) launched new features to enable small business entrepreneurs to raise capital and access startup resources through friends, family, and others in their communities and social networks.

Most small businesses startups fail due to lack of adequate funding and resources, and there is a $40 billion gap in seed funding. By combining innovative tools with the power of the Internet, 40billion.com aims to bridge the gap and enable millions more small businesses to succeed.

About half of all new businesses seek financing from the entrepreneur’s friends and family, but it can be difficult to communicate business ideas and to manage funding relationships with many people. 40billion.com simplifies everything by enabling entrepreneurs to create business plan profiles and launch fundraising drives that are viewable anywhere via the Internet. And it is free to sign up and get started.

Entrepreneurs can broadcast their business ideas and funding requests to friends and family, even post them on popular social networking websites, and the service allows many people to make loans or gift contributions ($25 up to $10,000) in support of a business, while easily tracking and receiving notifications online.

Furthermore, lenders and borrowers may download a promissory note template, which they can use to formalize business loans in a more professional manner. Loan interest rates are negotiated between the lenders and borrowers, and 40billion.com emails notifications when funding offers are received and reminders when payments are due.

As an incentive, entrepreneurs may offer product discounts and freebies in exchange for low- or no-interest funding and other much-needed resources. Soon, for added confidence, those providing the funding will be able to track how the entrepreneur spends the funds that are raised.

There are additional features available exclusively for members, including the ability to schedule online business plan presentations, an open database of service providers, a job board for posting and browsing startup jobs, and a discussion forum (a.k.a., The Elevator) where everyone can share ideas and tips about what works and what does not. Members can even follow a company as it progresses, by signing up to receive alerts whenever the entrepreneur posts company updates.

Advantages over banks and other lending websites

  • No credit score required: raise money for a business, while keeping personal finances and credit score private.
  • Private profiles: protect ideas and limit viewing to invited participants only.
  • $99,000 maximum: raise more funding than many other sites allow.
  • Gift contributions: provide an additional funding option, besides loans.
  • Targeted business network: leverage other entrepreneurs and lenders with similar interests to raise funding, find service providers, post jobs, and acquire customers.
  • Spending tracker: lenders track how the funding is spent by the entrepreneur, in order to increase peace-of-mind, transparency, and accountability.

 

Advantages over conventional friends-and-family loans

  • One-to-many: manage and track hundreds of relationships, transactions and communications at the same time; no need to make a hundred individual loan payments every month.
  • Email reminders: get reminders automatically when payments are due, and get notifications when new company updates, transactions, or offers are posted.
  • Public profiles: expand access to funding and resources by connecting with thousands of people who visit 40billion.com every month.
  • Targeted business network: leverage other entrepreneurs and lenders with similar interests to raise funding, find service providers, post jobs, and acquire customers.
  • Spending tracker: lenders track how the funding is spent by the entrepreneur, in order to increase peace-of-mind, transparency, and accountability.

 

About 40billion.com
40billion.com helps entrepreneurs raise funding for new businesses through friends and family rather than through traditional financial institutions. Using the Internet-based service, entrepreneurs connect with their social network – friends, family, friends of family, colleagues, and others in their communities – to raise capital. 40billion.com’s scalable platform facilitates the funding requests and transactions to make it easier for an entrepreneur to manage many funding relationships. 40billion.com is patent pending. For more information, visit http://www.40billion.com.

THE ELEVATOR discussion forums for entrepreneurs

40billion has just launched THE ELEVATOR business forums, where you can blog, post articles, and get advice/tips for entrepreneurs and funders.

THE ELEVATOR currently has 6 levels:

1. Business Basics

2. Funding Forum

3. Legal Lounge

4. Marketing Maze

5. Product Pipeline

6. Support Space

Visit www.40billion.com/elevator to start posting and reading today. New content is added daily, but feel free to add your own!

Free startup job postings, and public Raises

We’ve added new features to help you raise money and find resources for your business:

* FREE JOB POSTINGS

Looking to hire new employees or contractors for your business? Create a job posting that is visible to thousands of professionals and others seeking employment every month. It’s free!

To post a job, just sign in, click ‘Search’ and ‘Post a Job’.

* PUBLIC PROFILES

Now, you can choose whether to make your Raise (fundraising profile) private or public. By default, your Raise is private so that only invited friends and family can view it. However, you now have the option to make your Raise public so that anyone can view it (without an invitation and without signing in).

To make your Raise public, just sign in, click ‘Edit’, and uncheck the box next to ‘Make Private’.

Please continue to send us your feedback. 40billion.com was built for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, so we welcome your ideas on how to make it better.

Free loan documents for business loans between friends/relatives

Now, you can formalize loans between friends and relatives for free! On 40billion.com, you can generate a customized loan document at no charge. Other websites charge up to $200 for similar services.

HOW IT WORKS

When a friend or family member views an entrepreneur’s Raise, they can offer a loan to the entrepreneur, then select the loan amount ($50 to $10,000), annual interest rate (0% or 5%), and period (12 or 24 months).

40billion.com calculates the interest and summarizes the loan terms, based on an unsecured loan with a single payment (one lump sum). 40billion.com instantly generates a professional loan document and notifies the entrepreneur via email regarding the loan offer.

The entrepreneur and lender can view the loan document online. They may print and sign the loan document, if they wish to execute a legally binding loan agreement between individuals. The lender may transfer funds to the entrepreneur by any offline method (e.g., check or cash) without worrying about extra charges and fees.

THE BENEFITS

– There is no charge, so you save up to $200 at a time when you need it most!

– Instantly generate a customized loan document to formalize a loan agreement between friends or family, without straining your relationship.

– Entrepreneurs receive affordable loans from one or many individual lenders they know; even manage 100 lenders easily.

– Lenders can offer a loan with up to 5% interest annually (a higher return than your savings account), while helping out a friend or relative starting a new business.

– Track loan payment due dates, and view/print the loan document as often as you’d like.

– Receive email notifications and reminders.

TRY IT NOW

Go to http://www.40billion.com, click ‘My Account’ and start a friends-and-family loan today.

New features to bailout small businesses and startups

In this tough economy, entrepreneurs like you are struggling to raise money to start new businesses or keep their existing businesses afloat. While big corporations are getting multi-billion dollar bailouts, who is bailing out small-business entrepreneurs? Many aspiring entrepreneurs are turning to friends and family for help during these tough times, and 40billion.com makes it easier than ever to tap into your social network and raise money for your business or idea. Here’s what we’re doing to help you, in lieu of a bailout package…

WE’VE EXTENDED YOUR RAISE

Your Raise (fundraising profile) has been extended up to one additional month, at no extra charge. Your Raise is now scheduled to end on December 13, 2008. Even if your Raise had ended, it has been reactivated with the new end date. So sign in, invite your friends and family, and start raising the money you need for your business through small loans and contributions.

WE’VE LAUNCHED NEW FEATURES

We’ve added new features and made significant improvements to help you raise money for your business. Some of these include…

* New loan document service:

Instantly generate a customized loan document to formalize a loan between friends or family, without straining your relationship.

* Posting on Facebook or MySpace:

Post links to your Raise on your Facebook or MySpace page. Increase your exposure, and allow your friends and family to access your Raise easily from your Facebook or MySpace page.

* Access to your email contact list:

Easily import your contact lists (or address books) from your existing email accounts, whether you use Yahoo, GMail, AOL, Plaxo, or Outlook. No need to type all those email addresses, when sending invitations to your friends and family.

* New default invitation messages:

You always have the ability to customize your email invitations, but we’ve made things easy for you by providing default invitation messages that are friendly and professional. Also, now when you send an invitation, the recipient does not have to sign in (or join) to view your Raise; however, they do have to sign in to offer funding and access other site features.

* New email notifications:

Now, we send you an email notification whenever you receive a loan offer or contribution, when you receive a message from someone who has viewed your Raise, and when another member grants you access to their private Raise. We do much of the work, so you can focus on your business.

…and much more.

Sign in to your account, and check out the improvements we’ve made. And with the extra time you have between now and December 13th, invite your friends and family to help you raise money for your business with a small loan or contribution towards your target.

Small business loans now available

We’re excited to announce the launch of a new lending service on 40billion.com! Now, entrepreneurs can seek loans from friends and family, and 40billion.com will create a customized loan document to formalize your loan agreements. By automatically generating a customized loan document for you, we’ve made it easier for lenders and borrowers to formalize a personal loan between friends or family members.

HOW IT WORKS

When an entrepreneur starts or edits a Raise (fundraising profile), now he can select “Loans” as a funding type (in addition to “Contributions”) to indicate that he is seeking loans towards his funding target. Then, he can invite friends and family to view the Raise and make an investment as a loan to the entrepreneur.

When a friend or family member views the entrepreneur’s Raise, she can offer a loan to the entrepreneur. She selects the loan amount ($50 to $10,000), the annual interest rate (0% or 5%), and the period (12 or 24 months).

40billion.com calculates the interest and summarizes the loan terms, based on an unsecured personal loan with a single payment (one lump sum). 40billion.com instantly generates a professional loan document.

Both the borrower and the lender can view, print, and sign the loan document as a legally binding loan agreement between the two individuals.

THE BENEFITS

– Instantly generate a customized loan document to formalize a loan agreement between friends or family, without straining your relationship.

– Entrepreneurs receive affordable loans from one or many individual lenders they know; even manage 100 lenders easily.

– Lenders earn up to 5% interest annually (a higher return than your savings account), while helping out a friend or relative with a new business.

– Track loan payment due dates, and view/print the loan document as often as you like.

– Receive email payment reminders.

TRY IT NOW

Sign in at http://www.40billion.com, raise money or fund a new business, and formalize your loan with a loan document today.

40billion.com Launches First Friends-and-Family Funding Network for Entrepreneurs

New Service Helps Entrepreneurs Raise Money Through Social Networks of Friends and Family

ATLANTA, Georgia – July 30, 2008 – 40billion.com (http://www.40billion.com) officially launched today as the first friends-and-family funding network for small-business entrepreneurs. The service enables entrepreneurs to raise capital through friends, family and others interested in helping the entrepreneur to succeed.

Unlike traditional bank loans and other person-to-person lending services, 40billion.com does not require a credit report or minimum credit score and does not allow loan interest rates as high as 36%, which many small-business entrepreneurs cannot afford. Instead, the entrepreneur can raise money from people they know in exchange for discounts that they offer to those investors who become customers.
“40billion.com is a great way for me to finance my startup,” said Dave Mack Jr., who is developing an online social network for theatre artists to connect and find work. “It helps me raise money affordably from many people I already know, and without worrying about ruining my relationships with them.”

Many businesses get started with financing from the entrepreneur’s friends and family, but it is often difficult to manage these relationships. 40billion.com allows many investors to give small amounts of money and spread the risk. Furthermore, the service provides communication tools to increase transparency between the entrepreneur and her investors.

To obtain funding, an entrepreneur simply uses 40billion.com to start a “Raise” (a fundraising profile) and invites friends, family and others in her social network to invest and contribute towards the funding target. 40billion.com makes it easier for entrepreneurs to share their business ideas with friends and relatives, who may want to invest and help out. Furthermore, 40billion.com handles all the transactions, so it is easier for an entrepreneur to manage having many investors. Raises are private, so potential investors must be invited by entrepreneurs or other investors.

 
“We are addressing a $40 billion gap in funding for small businesses, and our goal is to help all those hardworking entrepreneurs that have good ideas but don’t have the money or resources to get started,” said Cornelius Colin McNab, Founder of 40billion.com. “The economic downturn has led to a credit crunch, where banks and venture capitalists are tightening up, and entrepreneurs need alternative ways to gain access to affordable capital.”

McNab, who is an inventor with three patents and holds an MBA from MIT and a degree from Yale, is confident that his company can bridge the funding gap by allowing ordinary people to become investors. “That’s how we got started. Investors contribute as little as $50 or $100 each, but these small investments really add up. If forty friends and relatives contribute $100 each, that’s $4,000 that the entrepreneur can use to incorporate a business, build a website, print business cards, lease space for three months, file a provisional patent, and create a prototype or sample inventory.”

Currently released as a beta version, 40billion.com soon will offer more funding options (including loans), social networking features, and a unique rating system to enhance the quality of entrepreneurs and build investor confidence.

Advantages of 40billion.com

  • No credit report or sales history required
  • Multiple funding options
  • Private, invitation-only profiles
  • Exclusive entrepreneur features, e.g., live presentations online
  • Search-engine to find business resources
  • Profiles with embedded videos and PowerPoint presentations
  • Investors receive social returns, financial returns, and discounts

 

About 40billion.com

40billion.com helps entrepreneurs raise money for businesses through friends and family rather than through traditional financial institutions. Using the Internet-based service, entrepreneurs connect with their social network – friends, family, friends of family, colleagues, and others – to raise capital. 40billion.com’s scalable platform facilitates the funding requests and transactions to make it easier for an entrepreneur to manage many investors. 40billion.com is patent pending. For more information, visit http://www.40billion.com